Quintarelli Tribute: 2000 Amarone

Posted by Joe Salamone

Final Tribute to the Master
2000 Quintarelli Amarone
Lowest Price in the Nation

Early this year, the wine world lost a visionary and an icon. Amarone, as we have come to think of it, is impossible without this man.

In his obituary for Giuseppe Quintarelli, Eric Asimov wrote the following: "In an era that emphasized mass production over attention to detail, Mr. Quintarelli sought to make wines without compromise... All told, his wines were poetic in their ability to transport people by way of aromas, flavors and textures to the hillsides of the Veneto." Asimov's entire New York Times obituary is worth reading and can be found here.

It is impossible to imagine Amarone without Quintarelli. If the Veneto struggled in the 20th Century, with large-scale producers pumping out huge quantities of rather dilute and uninspired Valpolicellas and Amarones, Quintarelli pursued a fantastically rigorous approach to winemaking that flew in the face of just about everything else. If it all seems rather obvious now, looking back from the perspective of the early 21st Century and its fetish for artisanal quality, it was a bold decision in the 1950s when Giuseppe began working at the family estate.

It has proven to be an inspired decision; these wines have defined Amarone for many, many decades and proven to be among the most collectible wines in all of Italy.

We have been Quintarelli fans for many years - our email program documents an infatuation from day one. As a final tribute we'd like to offer one of Quintarelli's masterpieces, his 2000 Amarone.

We've offered this wine before - if we ever find it well-priced we'll offer it again (the last email we sent out on this wine, from September 2010, is reproduced below). What can we say - Quintarelli has been on our minds lately.

This is a small parcel and this offer goes out only to those of you who have supported Quintarelli and our Amarone program.

To order, reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits


What can we say about Quintarelli that hasn’t been said before? He’s simply the master. The legend of Veneto’s Valpolicella region. The benchmark old-school Amarone producer whose only considerable peer is Romano Dal Forno.

And in that grand context, Quintarelli’s 2000 Amarone happens to be one of the most well-regarded in his long and laudable history. While Quintarelli always seduces with the deepest concentration, the most soaring and complex spectrum of earth, herbs, flowers and fruit (in varying degrees of emphasis depending on the exact moment you’re swirling and sniffing), his 2000 Amarone is truly, as Antonio Galloni says, "a thing of beauty."

Whenever we're faced with writing about Quintarelli, we're stuck between reverential stutters and poor but passionate attempts at poetry. So with that preface, we quote Galloni again, who more eloquently says, "The wine possesses the grace of a ballerina, phenomenal balance and impeccable pedigree." (See his full review below.)

We’d add to that observation that this wine, while absolutely elegant and gorgeously woven with delicate components, is at the same time capable of knocking you off your feet with its calmly disguised power, its richness and strength cloaked in poise and finesse that simply shouldn’t be possible… unless you’re Giuseppe Quintarelli, in which case, this is just what you do.

The unmatched concentration and balance of his Amarones comes from super-strict yields and extra-long maturation in cask (as long as seven years). Quintarelli releases his wines when, quite simply, he deems them ready, and not a moment before. It's a simple philosophy with anything-but-simple results.

As for when they’re ready for drinking, these are designed to age long and gracefully; the 2000 is a baby at ten years old, and it’s just now starting to show off its potential, with the next ten years, maybe even 20, poised to be phenomenal.

Those of you who have had the privilege and the honor to experience Quintarelli know what’s in store for you here. As we pointed out the last time we offered Quintarelli, while this may initially come across as an expensive bottle of wine, this is one of the great values in Italian wine. For those of you who are Quintarelli novices, think of this as part of the required curriculum for those serious about wine - compelling "reading" that you'll want to visit again and again.

To place your order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2000 Quintarelli Amarone

Galloni, Wine Advocate: The 2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is a thing of beauty. This mid-weight, delicate red offers up a gorgeous array of crushed flowers, red berries and sweet spices in an ethereal style. As it sits in the glass the wine acquires concentration and richness. The wine possesses the grace of a ballerina, phenomenal balance and impeccable pedigree. In this vintage the Amarone shows suggestions of slightly newer barrels, and that may be why this is the first non-Riserva Amarone I can recall in at least a few years that doesn’t show the excess volatile acidity that has marred some previous wines. To be sure, this is a super-traditional, cask-aged Amarone, and it may not appeal to all palates, but readers in search of fine old-school Amarone won’t find a better wine among this year’s new releases.